Anyone who travels with me to Gettysburg knows that I like to spend some quality time – after dark – on East Cemetery Hill. It doesn’t matter much what season it is (although honestly, off-season means fewer people and fewer people means more quality time). Tonight was high quality time – no people anywhere, nice clear night, nearly full moon. So while Mom (on a “bucket list” trip – her words, not mine) rested and little (middle-aged) brother stayed in the hotel room to elder-sit (edited at demand of said younger sibling), I spent MY time on the Hill. I did not bring my camera, so I made due with the one on my phone. Clicking on any of these photos should bring them up full size.
This isn’t East Cemetery Hill, but I liked the view at sunset from Cemetery Ridge looking west:
Here’s the Hancock monument on East Cemetery Hill. No one around. Anywhere. Nice:
Here’s the 17th CVI monument on East Cemetery Hill. Still no one to be seen anywhere. I guess people just wanted to stay inside:
When I got back to my room I started to delete the photos that did not come out very well. One of those photos was of the 1st NY Light Artillery monument on East Cemetery Hill. The monument is barely visible to the left. To the right? I have no clue what that is:
I’ve been coming to Gettysburg for 35 years or so. Never had so much of a blip on any photo, film, video, or digital. I did have a camera malfunction once at the Jennie Wade House after a guide talked about how people had photos come out screwy there – but mine was caused by my thumb going through the shutter loading film. Doesn’t count as odd, just clumsy.
But c’mon, the shot above is a little cool. A little weird, maybe? Probably very explainable. But definitely my first “orb” photo ever. On a quiet night alone on East Cemetery Hill. Or maybe, just maybe – not quite alone.
Either way – time spent on East Cemetery Hill, especially after dark, is time well spent.
UPDATE: I was curious what causes these orbs to appear (I got another one in a shot of the 17th CVI monument, and I doubted that I was being tailed by any apparitions since I had driven around for a while between photos. Oh, and my mother said that no spirit would want to waste time hanging around me once let alone twice – not sure how to take that one, actually!).
Anyhow, Wikipedia says (so it must be true) that orb artifacts:
“…are especially common with compact or ultra-compact cameras, where the short distance between the lens and the built-in flash decreases the angle of light reflection to the lens, directly illuminating the aspect of the particles facing the lens and increasing the camera’s ability to capture the light reflected off normally sub-visible particles.”
And now you know.